‘Shiver me Timbers!’
“The previous owner of this boat no longer has the time to restore ‘Fame’ to her former glory.
She will require draining of some rainwater from the bilge and above the floorboards, drying out and a complete cosmetic overhaul.”
Sounded so innocuous on the EBay website, didn’t it?
There it was, a seven day auction posting; which caught my attention on the latter part of the fourth day. And it had been inadvertently put in the wrong section. I only discovered it by pure accident. I had been scouring the ads for several weeks looking for a smallish boat that I could use for fishing. Something on a trailer; with an outboard motor. A little 16’ Norman, perhaps?
I was perusing the other sections of the Waterways listings. I had checked out the Motor Powered section, then the Canal & Narrow boat Barge section. I’d also had a look at the Sailboat listings. All I found myself left with was the Other Craft section. You know where I mean; it’s where they put the row-boats, canoes, jet skis, inflatable’s etc. And there SHE was. And it was love at first sight!
On the morning of the seventh day; I was killing time waiting for my brother to arrive. We were going from my house the next day to a friend of forty-five years standing’s funeral. Too far for him to travel the hundred or so miles north to my house to hook up with me; and then continue on the seventy or so miles further northwards to the ten o’clock service. So he was staying overnight and we would travel on together the next morning.
There was less than thirty minutes to go to the end of the auction and the price had not changed in the three days that had passed. I don’t know if you are aware but on EBay, the automatic bids go up in two pound steps between one and two hundred pounds. And then in five pound stages from then on till the next hundred I believe.
I half-heartedly place several over the next twenty-odd minutes and had increased the amount to round two hundred pounds sterling. Being still outbid by the other single person bidding on it.
As I have intimated; it was never my intention to really purchase a Sailboat; but in those dying seconds of the bidding I thought of the seller, and decided that he should at least get as much as possible for his boat. And it was looking that the bidder was going to get it for a mere song!
So with three seconds to go, I placed a bid of three hundred and ten pounds; thinking that that would at least give the seller over three hundred pounds after stoppages and fees when I was expectedly outbid by the other bidder.
Imagine my surprise to see the notice come up telling me that I had won the auction at £255.00! Turns out that the other bidder had made a maiden bid of £250.00 on the fourth day; and with me bidding as I did in the dying seconds; he had no chance of placing a higher bid!
So there you are; the start of the Saga. More developments later.....